On ultrasound-induced microbubble oscillation in a capillary blood vessel and its implications for the blood–brain barrier.
The complex interaction between an ultrasound-driven microbubble and an enclosing capillary microvessel is investigated by means of a coupled, multi-domain numerical model using the finite volume formulation. This system is of interest in the study of transient blood–brain barrier disruption (BBBD) for drug delivery applications. The compliant vessel structure is incorporated explicitly as a distinct domain described by a dedicated physical model. Red blood cells (RBCs) are taken into account as elastic solids in the blood plasma. We report the temporal and spatial development of transmural pressure (Ptm) and wall shear stress (WSS) at the luminal endothelial interface, both of which are candidates for the yet unknown mediator of BBBD. The explicit introduction of RBCs shapes the Ptm and WSS distributions and their derivatives markedly. While the peak values of these mechanical wall parameters are not affected considerably by the presence of RBCs, a pronounced increase in their spatial gradients is observed compared to a configuration with blood plasma alone. The novelty of our work lies in the explicit treatment of the vessel wall, and in the modelling of blood as a composite fluid, which we show to be relevant for the mechanical processes at the endothelium.Download Article